Presentation on theme: "What are the respective roles of theory, qualitative research and statistical analysis in establishing causality? Simon Burgess Research Methods Conference,"— Presentation transcript:
What are the respective roles of theory, qualitative research and statistical analysis in establishing causality? Simon Burgess Research Methods Conference, November 2007
RMP, Nov 2007www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO2 Big words Causality Theory Qualitative research –Participant observation, semi-structured interviews, ethnography, textual analysis, … Statistical analysis –Econometrics, biometrics, multi-level modelling, …
RMP, Nov 2007www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO3 Two main points Counterfactuals –Central issue in causality –Constructing counterfactuals –Heterogeneity –Ex ante and ex post Outcomes and motivations –Capturing and understanding motivations –Individual motivation and outcomes
RMP, Nov 2007www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO4 Counterfactuals Central issue in causality Constructing counterfactuals –Statistical methods … –Qualitative research … Heterogeneity –Range of effects; causality is in expectation –Large sample sizes important Ex ante and ex post –Theory is crucial in being able to construct counterfactuals ex ante.
RMP, Nov 2007www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO5 Outcomes and Motivations Capturing and understanding motivations –Understanding motivations behind actions Individual motivation and outcomes –Examples: Training and employment Inflation and monetary policy –Individuals in systems: Individual motivations can lead to very different market outcomes.
RMP, Nov 2007www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO6 Conclusions Theory, qualitative research and statistical analysis: –All have a role. –If could only fund one – statistical analysis. –Trust the answers more if qualitative research backs it up. –A theoretical framework is necessary to discuss causality ex ante.